book review

It has been well over a year since my last book update. That is completely unacceptable. I apologize. Here we go. Not all books are pictured. Sorry. I'll try to get better at taking photos.

 

Voyager & Drums of Autumn, the Outlander series, books 3 & 4, by Diana Gabaldon // Clearly I love this series if I'm on book three & four. Each book is at least 1000 pages but so well written that you just can't put it down. I will admit that book 4 got a little slow for a while, but I pushed on & it did not disappoint. (This was the first time in 4,000 pages I was bored. That's saying something.). Books 3 and 4 take us from Scotland to the West Indies & on to the American frontier. Indians, bears, caves, pirates, hurricanes, & more. I've learned that I would definitely die if I had to live on the frontier. Thank goodness for AC, indoor plumbing, & Kraft Mac & Cheese.

The Mark of the Lion, series by Francine Rivers // I cannot speak enough good things about this series. This three book series takes place in Rome about 30 years after Jesus ascended into heaven. The main character's father was healed by Jesus & their lives were forever changed. I don't think I have read any book set in this time period & it opened my eyes to what it must have been like for those early Christians. Frustrating & dangerous, yet hopeful because they SAW the miraculous works Jesus did. Hadassah, a young Jewish girl is taken captive & sold into Roman slavery. By the grace of God she is sold to a wealthy family who treat her well, even if she is the maid to a very spoiled girl her age who makes all the wrong decisions. Determined to spread the good news of Jesus to everyone, she makes some friends in this new thriving city & some dangerous enemies. The first book focuses on Hadassah, the second on Marcus, a wealthy merchant's son in whose home Hadassah works, the third wraps up the story of a gladiator determined to fight for his freedom & find his family again.

Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell // This book. So strange, yet so amazing. I warn you that it's not for everybody. I haven't seen the movie yet but I knew that it crosses space & time & back again. This was my second book by this author so I already had a small idea of how he writes which I think helped. I was so exhausted when I finished but part of me wanted to go back & immediately re-read it. (I didn't.) I really have no idea how to describe the story/plot to you, & if you read it you'll understand why. The story jumps from something like 1850 to modern day to futuristic Asia.

Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America, by Erik Larson // This book was a little different from my usual, in that it is non-fiction presented as fiction. My husband had been after me for ages to read it, then one day he came home with it from the store & put it on my nightstand. In 1893, the city of Chicago petitioned for & won the chance to host a World's Fair. The country pulled together, be it ever so slowly, in attempt to pull off a show more grand than Paris' fair in 1889. This story follows the fair from when it was just an idea to the day the fair closed forever. Would the ground stand firm enough to hold these gigantic buildings or sink under pressure? Could they possibly come up with a tower more spectacular than Eiffel's Tower? What the architects of the time didn't know, however, was that a serial killer had set up shop just down the road & was luring people to their deaths in his mystery house. Larson intertwines the two stories & leaves you spinning with facts. I admit the book gets a little long, but at the same time, I wanted to know more! This book definitely got me excited about visiting this city a few months ago!

Citadel, by Kate Mosse // This was another book that had really short chapters. I had read another book by this author & loved it, however this was a slight let down. This book taught me that knowing a little bit of French can help in knowing whether the author is talking about a person, place, or organization. :) Aside from that, the story was good yet sad.  Another World War II book, this story focuses on the lives of a small band of women dedicated to helping the Resistance against German forces. A side story is woven in & is set in 800AD about a monk with a mission to hide something very valuable. An interesting twist!

All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr // I have heard mixed reviews about this book & I decided when I finished that it's one you either love or hate. Unfortunately it wasn't my favorite. It was good, but I wouldn't want to read it again. The story floats between two characters, a blind French girl & an orphaned German boy recruited into the Hitler Youth. The story hinted at a twist & I waited in vain for the entire book for it. I also have a problem getting into books that have really really short chapters.

Under the Dome, by Stephen King // I probably shouldn't be including this book yet because I haven't actually finished reading it. I've only read half of the book (the story is too long for one book) & I don't have the second half yet. This is my first Stephen King. He is so brutal to his characters & there are parts that I've been skipping because he is so graphic. The little town of Chester's Mill suddenly is cut off from the rest of the world by a strange clear dome with no warning & no way in or out. However, after reading the first half of the book & watching the TV show, I still have no idea why the dome is there. I am determined to find out.

The Stand, by Stephen King // Oh man am I glad to be done with this beast. I picked this up last summer at a friend's house & it took for me about a year to finish it. I would read about 200 pages at a time, then pick up a different book to read & finish, then go back for 200 more pages. Rinse & repeat. This was my second & probably last Stephen King novel. This man definitely has a talent for writing but I just don't think his stories are my type. They give me nightmares. If I could take out the bad parts of this story, it'd be a book that I really enjoyed. However there was just so much evil.... The story is about a superflu virus that knocks out 98% of the population, the repercussions, finding other survivors, & the rebuilding of society. There is a "dark man" who haunts the survivors. Is he real? Or just in their dreams? Do they follow him or this Mother Abigail?